A Glossary for Shears and Scissors
Choosing The Right Shears:
Choosing the right shears can be complicated if you are not familiar with the terminology used to describe the various features. To familarize you with the various options, this glossary describes the terminology used to describe the various shears features and thier benefits so you can make a more knowledgeable choice and choose the shears that is best for your needs
The screw located where the shears blades hinge. Adjusts how much pressure it takes to open and close the shears. Use a shear pliers tool to adjust the tension.
A black finish to improve definition when scissoring white or light-colored coats, especially under fluorescent lights.
A system of ball bearings around the pivot that allows the shears to open and close effortlessly.
A blunt, rounded tip at the end of a shears that serves as a built-in safety feature for delicate areas. Usually found on curved shears.
The shank, or finger hole end of the shears, is slightly offset from the cutting blades. It keeps your fingers out of the hair, preventing you from mussing the coat that you have just scissored to perfection.
High grade steel used in shears because it is durable and because it holds a sharp edge. Needs to be kept dry and oiled, as it may rust.
Typically made of Teflon, titanium or plastic. A coating resists surface rust, and a bright color or pattern in the coating increases visibility of your shears and distinguishes them in busy shops.
Very hard type of stainless steel that makes your shears resistant to chips and nicks.
Blade edge with tiny ground-in grooves to provide non-slip cutting by holding the hair.
A dial on the adjuster screw that allows you to change the shears tension by hand without a shear pliers tool.
Filipino, Philippine or 88 Style:
A wide blade style shears designed for all-purpose, heavy-duty use.
Hollow Ground Shears:
A blade with a ground-down inside that reduces its weight and gives a sharper edge, resulting in a softer, smoother cut.
Blade edges that are precisely finished to a razor sharpness. Reduces scissor marks in coat.
Ice Tempered/Frozen Tempered/Cold Forged:
A shears that has been subjected to sub-zero temperatures at a critical point in the manufacturing process. This changes the composition of the metal so that it the shears is much harder and will hold an edge longer. Years ago it was important to look for this quality in a shear, but today it is so commonplace that some manufacturers do not even mention it in their sales copy.
Instead of the handle being even on both sides, the finger hole side is shorter, so you don’t to have to reach as much with that finger.
Short Shank Shears:
A shear with a shorter distance from the finger holes to where the blades cross. Reduces hand fatigue, as blades open wider with less hand movement.
A high quality steel combined with chromium and other metals to resist rusting.
88 Style Shears:
A wide blade, heavy-duty, all-purpose shear. Same as Filipino style.
Use to "bulk" out coat and blend areas around the clipper lines. Allows you to scissor an area without lines or marks. The more teeth a thinner has, the more hair it will remove.
A super hard metal either applied to shear blades or impregnated into the steel to enhance strength and hardness. The shears hold an edge longer than traditional steel.